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Weekly News Alert: Learning, Innovation, Diversity and Technology


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On Learning, Networks and Communities of Practice...

  • Nancy White of Full Circle Associates asks for feedback on her proposed idea of ‘triangulation.’  She defines triangulation as “a practitioner’s experience using external networks to leverage learning and outcomes within organizations and institutions.”  She explores such themes as collaboration, community and technology.
  • A paper, Communities of practice: Linking knowledge, policy and practice was recently published by Overseas Development Institute.  The paper focuses on basic characteristics of communities of practice and explains their growing importance (especially in international development).  It also suggests ways that organizations can implement and support their own communities of practice.

On Innovation...

  • Innovation is often the product of “unnatural” combinations of sectors and ideas.  For example, education reform, early childhood development, cultural competence and community development, when combined, can raise communities’ interest in conservation.  However, these types of combinations are difficult to facilitate and risk creating a “superficial adoption of new ideas” by communities.
  • A common myth about innovation is that coming up with a great idea is the key to innovation, according to an article posted by Blogging Innovation.  It is not new ideas that make innovations successful, but the quality of insights and the organization’s ability execute those insights.  The article looks at how Apple and the iPhone is demonstrative of this concept.  This concept is true across industries.

On Diversity and Discrimination...

  • Many times the philanthropic world  tries to define itself as open minded, but looking at the organizations which receive the most money from donors suggests otherwise.  A study was done in 2007 tracking how much money was given to LGBTQ people of color, a group that is subject to heightened vulnerability because of our societal norms and stereotypes.  These groups receive about $3.6 million a year, “an almost invisible pixel” in the philanthropic world.  Trista Harris of New Voices of Philanthropy suggests that the nonprofit world needs to do more to combat discrimination.

On Fundraising and Giving...

  • Philanthropy Journal posts an article suggesting that nonprofit organizations need to mix marketing and fundraising to create the “perfect storm” and advance their work.  Organizations need to have a powerful mission statement, of course, but they also need to define their donor group, understand their donors' perspective and create personal connections with their donors.
  • The Agitator shares a paper, Building a Passionate Case for Support: How to Write a Script in Support of Your Mission, and highlights the basic fundraising principles it found from the document.
  • Global Philanthropy Group and Barron’s publishes its list of ’25 Best Givers.’  The editors claim that the list focuses on givers “who are getting results” rather than on the givers who give the most money.  Philantopic calls for readers’ opinions on the list though, as it feels it is, by nature, subjective.

On Social Media and Technology...

  • There has been some debate about how powerful and authentic connections via the internet are.  Full Circle Associates says that these connections can be just as real as relationships offline.  They share helpful tips and a video explaining how to develop the trust required for these relationships.
  • Mobile phones are becoming more and more important in the way we conduct business, meaning we are conducting more of our business using features on our phones (the internet, apps, etc.) than ever before.  Mike Kujawski of Public Sector Marketing 2.0 makes the argument that since social media (and not email) dominates our mode of communication, the iPhone (and not the Blackberry) is the most effective phone for business purposes.
  • Frogloop shares four useful apps for the iPhone that they believe can help nonprofit organizations.

Top Articles:

Need Your Feedback on my Triangulating Thinking
Author: Nancy White
Date: November 29, 2009
Source: Full Circle Associates
Communities of practice: Liking knowledge, policy and practice
Author: Simon Hearn and Nancy White
Date: November 29, 2009
Source: Overseas Development Institute
Communities of practice: Linking knowledge, policy and practice
Author: Nancy White
Date: November 25, 2009
Source: Full Circle Associates
Innovation Nexus: Communities Explore a New Intersection of Ideas
Author: Pete Plastrik
Date: November 30, 2009
Source: nuPolis
Innovation Perspectives – Insights and Execution
Author: Braden Kelley
Date: November 30, 2009
Source: Blogging Innovation
Discrimination of any kind, hurts all kinds
Author: Trista Harris
Date: Novemeber 30, 2009
Source: New Voices of Philanthropy
Mix marketing and fundraising for ‘perfect storm
Author: Michele Savoldi
Date: November 30, 2009
Source: Philanthropy Journal
Presenting A Passionate Fundraising Case
Date: November 30, 2009
Source: The Agitator
The 25 Best Givers
Author: Suzanne McGee
Source: Barron’s
Barron’s ‘Best Givers’ List
Author: Mitch Nauffts
Date: November 29, 2009
Source: Philantopic

 D’Arcy Norman – How do you connect to people online?
Author: Nancy White
Date: November 30, 2009
Source: Full Circle Associates
Why you need to focus on mobile right now
Author: Mike Kujawski
Date: November 30, 2009
Source: Public Sector Marketing 2.0
Four Useful Apps for Nonprofits
Author: Allyson Kapin
Date: November 27, 2009
Source: Frogloop